‘The guy is as consistent as the UK’s lockdown rules’: Furious F1 fans demand race director Michael Masi is SACKED after his controversial unlapping call handed Max Verstappen the World Championship over Lewis Hamilton
- Max Verstappen won the World Championship on the last lap in Abu Dhabi
- Lewis Hamilton had, until then, been leading the race from the first lap
- Race Director Michael Masi made a bold call when the safety car was out
The morning after one of the most dramatic races in Formula One history and race director Michael Masi has found himself at the centre of a plot that will continue to grip motorsport for days to come.
After leading from the first corner and seemingly on course for a record-setting eighth world title, Lewis Hamilton lost the championship to Max Verstappen due to the calls from Masi after the use of a safety car when Nicholas Latifi crashed.
His decision to allow the cars between Hamilton and Verstappen to unlap themselves put the two rivals next to each other for the final lap of the race in Abu Dhabi and with Verstappen having fresher tyres than Hamilton, he overtook the Brit and won.
Formula One Race Director Michael Masi finds himself at the centre of the talk around Max Verstappen’s dramatic World Championship victory over Lewis Hamilton
Verstappen overtook Hamilton on the last lap after Masi called for the cars between them to unlap themselves after the safety car had been out on the track
Hamilton was gracious in defeat despite the agonising nature of losing the race on Sunday
But the controversy of the call by Masi regarding the unlapping has caused ire across the Formula One community and fans are calling for him to lose his job as race director.
‘Regardless of who gets awarded the F1 Championship this incompetent fool as FIA race director Michael Masi needs to be sacked on the spot,’ wrote one furious fan on Twitter.
Another wrote: ‘No matter whom you support, Max or Lewis, I think both sides can agree Masi needs to be fired.
‘The guy is as consistent as the UK’s lockdown rules.’
A different fan said: ‘Michael Masi needs to be sacked immediately. Should never be in charge of another F1 race again.’
And while most people have been gripped by duel between Hamilton and Verstappen this season, one follower branded the campaign ‘a complete joke – get rid of Masi immediately.’
Mercedes chief Toto Wolff was heard having an exchange with Masi in the immediate aftermath of the race, saying: ‘We need to go back to the lap before.’
Masi’s reply to Wolff was abrupt. ‘It’s called a motor race,’ he said.
Hamilton, meanwhile, was humble despite the agonising nature of his defeat. He said: ‘Firstly big congratulations to Max and his team. I think we did an amazing job this year, my team, everyone back at the factory, all the men and women, we have worked so hard all year.
‘It’s been the most difficult of seasons. I’m so proud of them, so grateful to be on the journey with them. We gave it absolutely everything, we never gave up and that’s the most important thing.
‘Of course I’ve been feeling great in the car this past couple of months, particularly at the end.
‘But if I’m honest, we’re still in the pandemic and I just wish everyone to stay safe and have a good Christmas with their families, and we’ll see about next year.’
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